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  • Dec 26, 2014
  • Updated: 11:10am
NewsHong Kong

Intensify the friendship between London and Hong Kong: Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson brushes off electoral reform questions, focusing on promoting trade ties

PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 October, 2013, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 19 October, 2013, 3:25am

It was all about business - minus politics - for the maiden visit of London's mayor Boris Johnson to Hong Kong.

Johnson was eager to strengthen trade ties between London and Hong Kong in his meeting with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying yesterday, but much more reluctant to touch on one of Hong Kong's hottest topics - universal suffrage.

"It is a matter for Hong Kong, for the Hong Kong people," Johnson said of the city's impending electoral reform. "It would be wrong of me to weigh in on that."

He was speaking on a ferry trip between Wan Chai and Tsim Sha Tsui as he sampled the city's transport system, part of a week-long trip to China with the British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

The entourage has toured Beijing and Shanghai seeking to promote investment in Britain.

Johnson's meeting with Leung, he said, would cover a wide range of issues. "There is a great deal of interest in London … including [in strengthening] financial co-operation," he said.

Johnson stressed the common ground shared by Hong Kong and the British capital.

"The two cities are bonded by entrepreneurship … and the can-do spirit," said Johnson. "There is no gold or oil in Hong Kong."

The Conservative politician known for his unruly hairdo said British enterprises could open up the mainland via Hong Kong.

Posing on the ferry for journalists, he presented his plan for airport expansion.

"We need to intensify the friendship and partnership between Hong Kong and London. One way to do that is to have more direct flights from London to Hong Kong. We've got difficulties in Heathrow - the sheer congestion. They can't get enough flights at the moment to come into Chek Lap Kok," he said.

There are at least 70 direct flights a week connecting the two cities, operated by five airlines.

On a helicopter flight on Thursday, Johnson expressed his admiration for the Chek Lap Kok airport, calling on the UK government to "follow the example of Hong Kong" and approve a new airport in the east of London.



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This article is now closed to comments

well Boris, Mayor to Mayor, you should tell CY we do not want the (2005) retired Routemasters
What we want is the New Bus for London hybrids
"Better for the environment
The bus uses the latest green diesel-electric hybrid technology and is the best performing bus of its kind in the world. In test conditions the New Bus produced around half the carbon dioxide and a quarter of the particulate matter and nitrogen oxides of conventional diesel buses and is more fuel efficient.
How does it work?
A battery pack powers the electric motor which drives the wheels on the bus. The battery is charged by a generator and through regenerative braking (where the system recycles the energy lost during the braking motion). Stop-start technology means the engine only runs when it needs to charge the battery."
Of course CY's office manager Edward Yau (who earns far more than you Boris) would know all about this having ridden on one during one of his 60 overseas trips in 60 months as supposed HK Environment minister but like the rest of his tenure, Yau achieved nothing other than enriching himself.
Hong Kong is in a unique position that in theory while stripped of its diplomatic power but in essence can be friends to all nations in the world. A close relationship with London is no exception and to seek one by a London mayor in town should be welcome by Hong Kong people with open arms. Boris Johnson’s personable with people is refreshing especially in the mind of Hong Kong citizens who once were subjects of British Colony.
The mayor has a duty to promote business for his city and country. But Hong Kong should be mindful that he is not here to sway public opinion on behalf of the very British Swire which is pushing hard for a third runway for our very fine airport. The additional runway must be evaluated in largest context possible. We still should thank to Norman Foster, a great British architect for the best airport design in the world that bestows our city,
I wish the mayor the best for his first visit.
Met him on the tube once while on a trip in London, had just finished his bike ride I think because he still had his helmet, nice humble bloke, definitely doesn't carry an air of superiority with him, and definitely gives off a much better image compared to some of the politicians that we see in Hong Kong.


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